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API A2D Audio Interfaces
Old 24th July 2006
  #61
Lives for gear
 

Well API should make some changes to the meter section of the A2D. I'm no tech, all I know is that digital + overs = BAD and red lights in digital land = over/distortion.
My A2D went back and I replaced it with a 3124. I just don't want to be stuck with a piece of equipment that I can't sell in the future. At this early stage of the new A2D I consider the pres as really good and the converter ordinary.

Nick
Old 24th July 2006
  #62
Gear Addict
 

While the color red may often be associated with clipping or even "to stop", a hell of a lot of gear simply does not follow this fabled rule.

Usually the first thing I do when I get a new piece is to deliberately drive it into distortion for two reasons. The first is to identify and determine at what point distortion kicks in so I know whether to be concerned or not. The second being so I know what the distortion actually sounds like and if it's to be avoided or even desired.

So my point is: Listen rather than look.
Old 25th July 2006
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denial
While the color red may often be associated with clipping or even "to stop", a hell of a lot of gear simply does not follow this fabled rule.

Usually the first thing I do when I get a new piece is to deliberately drive it into distortion for two reasons. The first is to identify and determine at what point distortion kicks in so I know whether to be concerned or not. The second being so I know what the distortion actually sounds like and if it's to be avoided or even desired.

So my point is: Listen rather than look.

Well I'm not the only one asking this question
Old 25th July 2006
  #64
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aearth
Well I'm not the only one asking this question
My response was not directly aimed towards you but rather for the general thread.

Some users are under the impression the red lights appearing on the A2D indicate clipping the convertor. This is simply not the case as listening reveals. This means they are not setting the gain and output stage correctly and therefore may suffer a weak signal or too much signal (clipping).

As Sting should have said "Let your ears be your pilot".
Old 28th July 2006
  #65
Gear Maniac
 
API Sez...'s Avatar
The unit’s A to D Input ¼ inch phone jacks are set to accept +4dBu professional interface nominal input levels, balanced or unbalanced.

When the A and B Digital input level pots are fully clockwise, this nominal input signal level results in a -14dBfs signal at the converter output.

The A and B Digital level pots are passive cut only circuits, in order to provide the cleanest, straightest wire path possible into the converters. They are designed to be operated fully clockwise. In other words, to turn the level pots fully clockwise means that the input signals are fully unattentuated. This provides for a +18dBu max input signal for 0dBfs at converter out.

As our mic pre is capable of +28dBu out before clipping, the user will be trimming back those A and B Digital level pots with higher level mic pre signals to avoid clipping the converter inputs. This allows you to crank the mic pre, or even drive it into distortion, while still being able to trim the converter levels back in order not to “exceed the zero”.

Also, we designed the unit to have 3 red leds on the output meters to give a full 6dB of warning before you hit 0dBfs. This doesn't mean you should avoid using those first 2 red leds, just that you’ll want to stay off 0dBfs.

Hope this helps! Thanks for all the comments.
Old 29th August 2006
  #66
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by API Sez... View Post
The unit’s A to D Input ¼ inch phone jacks are set to accept +4dBu professional interface nominal input levels, balanced or unbalanced.

When the A and B Digital input level pots are fully clockwise, this nominal input signal level results in a -14dBfs signal at the converter output.

The A and B Digital level pots are passive cut only circuits, in order to provide the cleanest, straightest wire path possible into the converters. They are designed to be operated fully clockwise. In other words, to turn the level pots fully clockwise means that the input signals are fully unattentuated. This provides for a +18dBu max input signal for 0dBfs at converter out.

As our mic pre is capable of +28dBu out before clipping, the user will be trimming back those A and B Digital level pots with higher level mic pre signals to avoid clipping the converter inputs. This allows you to crank the mic pre, or even drive it into distortion, while still being able to trim the converter levels back in order not to “exceed the zero”.

Also, we designed the unit to have 3 red leds on the output meters to give a full 6dB of warning before you hit 0dBfs. This doesn't mean you should avoid using those first 2 red leds, just that you’ll want to stay off 0dBfs.

Hope this helps! Thanks for all the comments.


THAT is the explanation I needed to grab it properly. That makes total sense. I need to demo one of these boys. Who does demos on these?
Old 30th August 2006
  #67
Gear Addict
 

This unit sounds like an awesome idea.
I too can't wait to hear it.
Old 13th October 2006
  #68
Gear Addict
 

Now that the output leds have been explained, has anyone spent some time using the A2D properly and, if so, how do the converters rate? Thanks! -E
Old 13th October 2006
  #69
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mixerguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by spektor View Post
Does the Api have its own clock to if yes how is it? I use a ROland vm mixer i would try to use the clock from the A2d to the roland. Or i use the roland clock.
It has to have a clock .... in order to work on it's own.

I have no idea how good it is.

Old 12th August 2008
  #70
Gear Head
 

Tests API A2D

Well. I did some tests today A2D going S/PDIF into an Mbox 2 using an acoustic guitar mic'd with a Blue Bluberry at the 12th fret. The clock in the API makes an enormous difference, obviously. The converters have much much more dynamic range and are way more musical, also obvious and expected. The pres speak for themselves.

I like it as much as the Apogee Rosetta 800 or a bit better. I don't have anything else to compare with. An A+ for me though. Especially at the price point.

By the way, the newer ones have the word clock option pre-installed.
Old 12th August 2008
  #71
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MWPROJECT View Post
By the way, the newer ones have the word clock option pre-installed.
Yes, all new units now have the WC option.
Old 12th August 2008
  #72
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superburtm's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyBelmont View Post
Yes, all new units now have the WC option.
Oh really?!! So I could slave it to my Rosetta 800?
Old 17th September 2008
  #73
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andychamp's Avatar
tranny tap

Is there any way the 2:1 transformer tap feature could be (factory-)retrofitted to a stock 512 or 3124 ?

Any advantages of this over a simple inline pad?
Old 17th September 2008
  #74
Gear Head
 

After doing more listening. I actually think these converters compare to even higher end stuff than the Rosetta. Now they have more color, but good color - not mud. My impression is that the API converters are excellent for tracking which is what they are made to do. I like the A2D more every time I use it.

I'm very curious to clock it using an Apogee Big Ben. I see it (Big Ben) has a Superclock output. Anyone tried this?

Also, I know that the API 312 is not known as a vocal pre, but with the A2D and 2:1 options I strongly disagree with the consensus view. I just recorded a blues album using strictly the A2d on vocals with stunning results.
Old 17th September 2008
  #75
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MWPROJECT View Post
After doing more listening. I actually think these converters compare to even higher end stuff than the Rosetta. Now they have more color, but good color - not mud.

the api's are virtually transparent if you go straight in via the inserts. if you hit the line in, you get all kinds of hf and hi-mid excitement, which i don't like on program material.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 12th November 2008
  #76
anj
Gear Head
 

does anyone know how to get direct monitoring through a 002 using the api as the pre and converter.
Old 15th December 2008
  #77
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by u b k View Post
the api's are virtually transparent if you go straight in via the inserts. if you hit the line in, you get all kinds of hf and hi-mid excitement, which i don't like on program material.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Do you know why this is?

So this hf and hi-mid excitement will be present when using this as a DI for synths and samples? Does this sound any good for tracking?



Thanks for your help
Old 16th December 2008
  #78
Gear Guru
 
u b k's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Future One View Post
Do you know why this is? Does this sound any good for tracking?

1) if you pop the top, you'll see the line input going thru the 2520 circuit, and you'll see the insert point travelling across two tiny traces directly to the a/d. different paths: one colored, one pure.

2) it sounds *awesome* for tracking.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 9th February 2009
  #79
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Lemonsqueezer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anj View Post
does anyone know how to get direct monitoring through a 002 using the api as the pre and converter.
Bump

I would like to know as well
Old 9th February 2009
  #80
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spektor View Post
thx i know it is kind of a dumb question but wanted to make sure.
There's no such thing as a dumb question. That's what other experienced engineers, producers, mixers, etc. are here for. To help. thumbsup
Old 9th February 2009
  #81
Gear Maniac
 

Hey fellow GS's! I have owned an API A2D for several months. I really don't understand why some people on here are claiming that the A/D converters in this unit are nothing special. Blows the hell out of using my MBOX 2. Everything about the A2D is fantastic. I agree with the poster above me when he said the a/d section in the API is even better than his Apogee. This unit should be a lot more expensive. Everything I track it with benefits from the pre's and the A/D. I've had a lot of time to get to know the unit. I couldn't recommend it anymore. It really is a great unit for a great price. Go buy one! You won't regret it. And I don't have anything to do with API so you all know. I wish I did work for them, but I just am a fan of their products. Great American stuff!~
Old 9th February 2009
  #82
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SoundUniverse's Avatar
 

I am assuming you can clock your PT 002R to the A2D for not only tracking, but just general play back/mixing. Can anyone tell me if they've noticed an actual difference in the play back definition of the 002R? In other words does clocking to the A2D actually improve the sound of the 002R's D/A?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts
Old 10th February 2009
  #83
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundUniverse View Post
I am assuming you can clock your PT 002R to the A2D for not only tracking, but just general play back/mixing. Can anyone tell me if they've noticed an actual difference in the play back definition of the 002R? In other words does clocking to the A2D actually improve the sound of the 002R's D/A?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts

To my knowledge, the A2D would have no effect on your playback or monitoring. The A2D only has A/D converters. As far as I know, you need a good D/A to bypass the ****ting converters in the 002. Anyone more experienced have the true answer?
Old 10th February 2009
  #84
Quote:
Originally Posted by newlyformedmind View Post
To my knowledge, the A2D would have no effect on your playback or monitoring. The A2D only has A/D converters. As far as I know, you need a good D/A to bypass the ****ting converters in the 002. Anyone more experienced have the true answer?
Actually, it might due to the A2D's clock. This is subjective, but there can be some improvements made, just by having the PT rig follow the A2D's clock.

Your right though, the best way towards the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel is better DAC for monitoring.
Old 11th February 2009
  #85
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There is an API A2D in my near future, and this thread came up a few days ago while I was doing my legwork so it's sort of funny that it has been revived just as I'm getting ready to plunk down for one.

I'm sort of at an impasse regarding complimentary D/A conversion that will fit my workflow though. Monitoring and room treatment is taken care of and is a non-issue at the moment. Summing is done through a Soundcraft M4 that is currently spitting the two buss into the old Powerbook G4 via SPDIF.

For D/A I have a few options. Option 1 is an Apogee MiniDAC coming out of the Powerbook optical into the Playback input on the M4. The problem with this is that it limits my options insofar as mixdown is concerned, since once my audio is printed to drive I'm stuck mixing ITB with very limited ability to use any of my outboard after tracking.

Option 2 is an Echo Audiofire 8 with the analogue outs hitting the patchbay and the SPDIF in connected to the API. The benefit is flexibility w.r.t. using outboard after tracking, the drawback is (percieved) lower quality D/A.

So given these options, which one would you be more inclined to do?
Old 11th February 2009
  #86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Konketsu View Post
There is an API A2D in my near future, and this thread came up a few days ago while I was doing my legwork so it's sort of funny that it has been revived just as I'm getting ready to plunk down for one.

I'm sort of at an impasse regarding complimentary D/A conversion that will fit my workflow though. Monitoring and room treatment is taken care of and is a non-issue at the moment. Summing is done through a Soundcraft M4 that is currently spitting the two buss into the old Powerbook G4 via SPDIF.

For D/A I have a few options. Option 1 is an Apogee MiniDAC coming out of the Powerbook optical into the Playback input on the M4. The problem with this is that it limits my options insofar as mixdown is concerned, since once my audio is printed to drive I'm stuck mixing ITB with very limited ability to use any of my outboard after tracking.

Option 2 is an Echo Audiofire 8 with the analogue outs hitting the patchbay and the SPDIF in connected to the API. The benefit is flexibility w.r.t. using outboard after tracking, the drawback is (percieved) lower quality D/A.

So given these options, which one would you be more inclined to do?
I would print the sounds you want with the hardware you have, and use the Mini-DAC for monitoring, as it will give you a great representation of the product you are working with. I'm thinking your going to be fine, and since you're going to be mixing in stems with the Audio Fire, you're going to have room to work. Trust me, I think your headed in the onward and upward direction with the A2D for certain. It won't be until later [or never] that you'll sweat the details for a mixing DAC like that. Cross that bridge when it comes time, but for now, the better ADC [and better 312 electronics in the box] your stepping up your recordings, AND the quality of your OTB mix BACK into the software.
Old 11th February 2009
  #87
Here for the gear
 

Api a2d

I've been using the API for a couple years now and I love the conversion and pre-amps. I used to run it into my Apogee ensemble through SPDIF because I like the API converters better than the Apogee. However, my Apogee Ensemble was recently stolen and I'm wondering what would happen if I use a cheap audio interface like M-audio with SPDIF. Would I still get the same sound quality because the API is doing all the the conversion?
Old 11th February 2009
  #88
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Fast_Fingers's Avatar
 

That should be the case...all the card is doing is handling the digital signal (you're bypassing its converters). A Delta 66 will probably do the trick. The question is, though, what will become of the DA? There's a SPDIF out if you don't want to use the Delta's own.
Old 11th February 2009
  #89
Gear Maniac
 

Yeah you are set for 2 channels of great preamps and A/D conversion. Like my buddy above me, but what happens with the D/A? You don't want ****ty D/A from M-Audio. Especially if you are mixing your stuff. You need an accurate description of what's being tracked, compressed, eq'd, etc. So buy a good D/A. That's my advice
Old 11th February 2009
  #90
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aearth View Post
Well API should make some changes to the meter section of the A2D. I'm no tech, all I know is that digital + overs = BAD and red lights in digital land = over/distortion.
My A2D went back and I replaced it with a 3124. I just don't want to be stuck with a piece of equipment that I can't sell in the future. At this early stage of the new A2D I consider the pres as really good and the converter ordinary.

Nick
What a shame. You got rid of your A2D because you aren't fully aware as to how to fully work the A/D section of the A2D. Listen to your ears. You have good monitors? Good D/A? Then you are set. A2D's A/D is top notch. Lean how to truly use it, and I bet you will be very happy with the pre's, the A/D, and the clock. Piss on whatever the meter says on your A2D. Digital distortion is insanely obvious if you are really peaking. The A2D just gives you quite a bit of room before it actually distorts in PT or whatever DAW you are running. Bottom line, the A2D is the ****.
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